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IFC’s $150 Million Loans to Help Improve Telecommunications Access in Nigeria

Washington, D.C., February 4, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is extending $150 million in syndicated loans to support Helios Towers Nigeria Ltd as part of an overall $250 million initiative to improve access to quality, affordable telecommunications in Nigeria.  
The initiative seeks to help Helios Towers Nigeria, or HTN, increase its network to 2,000 shared tower communication sites nationwide and afford the Nigerian people the many benefits of improved communications.  IFC’s earlier $100 million investment in the initiative was announced in September 2009.
The $150 million investment includes $76 million in loans syndicated to the African Development Bank, FMO of the Netherlands, Germany’s DEG, and Proparco of France.  It also includes a $30 million loan from Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank and a $44 million loan funded by Cordiant Capital, the Emerging African Infrastructure Fund, and Nedbank of South Africa.  
HTN builds and maintains a network of telecommunications towers and leases space on these towers to wireless telecommunications services providers. The increased coverage will help wireless operators roll out their services more economically and enable the extension of affordable mobile services to semi-urban and rural areas.
Nigeria’s telecommunications sector has developed significantly in recent years, but the country’s 43 percent teledensity indicates that growth potential remains. With the expansion of the HTN network, operators will be able to outsource non-core activities and passive infrastructure, allowing them to focus on further developing their products and services.
“Access to quality, affordable mobile telecommunications is essential to development, both in terms of its ability to ease basic communication needs and to increase access to knowledge and services,” said Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies. “By promoting Nigeria’s access to mobile infrastructure through HTN’s network, IFC seeks to strengthen   the country’s efforts to better serve its consumers and businesses.”
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by helping finance affordable, quality telecommunications.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .